Reviewer: QSS

By this author

book July 08, 2017

The Secrets She Keeps

It’s amazing the airs trash fiction gives itself these days. The latest effort by Michael Robotham exploits the neat unstartling idea of a woman who works in a supermarket who steals a newborn baby of a posh woman she befriends. It has plenty of tension …

book July 01, 2017


Hinterland is one of those big Australian bush novels in which a group of people – some of them sick, some of them rich and vicious, some of them vassals of the rich or put-upon kids – all collide in a big quasi-political story of grand themes …

book May 06, 2017

I’d Die for You

Bob Dylan sang, “You’ve been through all of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s books/you’re very well read, it’s well known” about someone who knew something was happening but didn’t know what it was. Was that like Fitzgerald? Pretty early on he started …

book April 22, 2017

House of Names

It’s an intrepid novelist who goes into the house of Atreus as an adjunct of the house of fiction but that’s what Colm Tóibín has done. The man who took on the voice of Henry James in The Master has written a contemporary novel about the …

book April 01, 2017

Killers of the Flower Moon

It’s funny the way even true crime has its prestige market.  Killers of the Flower Moon is a most elaborate and densely historical account of a pile of horrible murders, executed by David Grann with what is sometimes a conscious grandeur …

book February 25, 2017

The Name on the Door Is Not Mine

[TOC:ul In this story] Karl Stead is in his 80s now and for as long as anyone can remember he has been New Zealand’s leading literary critic. It was in the 1960s that he wrote The New Poetic, a book that shed light on T. S. Eliot by suggesting …

book February 04, 2017

Winter Traffic

[TOC:ul In this story] Sometimes a work of trash fiction comes along with such blatant pretensions that readers are lining up to be impressed by the eloquence with which they are entertained. And so it is with Winter Traffic, this entangled …

book December 10, 2016

Joy Ride

[TOC:ul In this story] John Lahr is a theatre critic who has commanded audiences and made careers. Theatre is in his blood because he’s the son of Bert Lahr, the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz and the original Estragon on the New York stage …

book November 26, 2016


[TOC:ul In this story] Michael Chabon is one of those fictional masters of the middle way who can tell a story with plenty of honeyed charm and narrative invention while going some distance to persuading the reader that he is a craftsman of language, …